Cherokee lost to Creekview on Thursday, as did Woodstock to Harrison, Etowah to Lambert and River Ridge to Sequoyah on Friday.
With Woodstock’s loss to Johns Creek last week, the home teams in the county are 0-5 for the young season.
It was also a bad week for coaches making their debut, as Cherokee’s Josh Shaw and Etowah’s Dave Svehla both opened the season with losses.
Squandered opportunities were a common theme, with three games decided by a touchdown or less. Woodstock and Etowah both had possession of the ball inside their opponent’s half of the field with less than 2 minutes remaining, but both of the Towne Lake rivals failed to score.
Another common theme was the high number of penalties incurred. Of the county’s six teams, only River Ridge and Woodstock managed to avoid racking up 50 yards or more in penalties. Creekview was flagged 19 times for 160 yards.
Coach Al Morrell saw the penalties as something the Grizzlies will have to cut down on in the coming weeks.
“I think, after watching the game film, penalties was our biggest issue,” Morrell said. “We had a lot of dumb penalties. Hopefully, the kids will learn from them and begin to correct them.”
Cherokee was penalized seven times for 67 yards, Etowah eight times for 50 yards, and Sequoyah 10 times for 90 yards.
“A lot of our penalties were due to being overaggressive,” Sequoyah coach James Teter said. “We’ll have to sit the boys down and watch the film and show them what needs to be worked on. It’s still very early in the season, though, so you expect these kind of mistakes to happen.”
Cherokee and Etowah were the only two teams that managed to gain less than 250 yards on total offense, with Etowah missing the mark by just 1 yard. Cherokee could only manage to gain 160.
Creekview’s offense seems to be the most balanced, as it rushed for 150 yards and threw for 209, and Morrell hopes the Grizzlies’ offense continues to operate in similar fashion.
“My philosophy is to maintain a balance to keep the defense guessing,” he said. “You have to take what the other team gives you, but we strive to be balanced.”
The standout performer of the week was Sequoyah’s Blake Ingleton, who had 22 carries for 297 yards and three touchdowns.
Ingleton single-handedly outrushed every other team in the county and scored more touchdowns than anyone else.
“Using Ingleton is pretty much the standard game plan,” said Teter, who plans to have Ingleton carry the ball around 20 times a game. “With our style of offense, you’re not going to see us throw it too much.”
River Ridge’s Austin Terrell was the only other player to rush for more than 100 yards as he carried the ball 24 times for 119 yards.
Creekview’s Hayden Hall was the county’s top-performing quarterback, going 10-for-18 and throwing for 170 yards with two touchdowns. Hall was also the only quarterback in the county to throw more than one passing touchdown.